Mat. Schmemann hits the nail on the head again! What a wonderful woman who can see through the smoke screens and uncover the essential issues. God Bless her! I only hope people take serious note of her letter and in Seattle, we'll see serious change - again! May God Grant her Many More Years!
What you fail to realize is that everything Met. Jonah has done, he has brought on himself. He has brought on "getting rid" of himself. He cannot remain as Metropolitan. His options are few. It would be best that he resign before Seattle.
Ya' know, maybe, just maybe what we need in Seattle is an old-fashioned, drag out, chair throwing, fisticuffs meeting. One of these are needed from time to time to clear the air. Even St. Nicholas probably knocked Arius on his tuckus in 325. The right-wing, convert element that is trying to hi-jack the OCA and turn it into their own form of twisted church needs to be addressed. As Matushka Schmemann said, we are an American Church; not Russian or Greek or anything else. Where is our American Church? Who is trying to hide it? Why should we care what foreign bishops want or think? They have no real jurisdiction outside their own immediate territory.
What do you mean by "right-wing, convert element"? I have been right-wing over 40 years; it is one of the reasons I became an Orthodox Christian. I have been a convert to Orthodox Christianity since 1985. Although I came to Orthodox Christianity through the Moscow Patriarchate here in the USA, I have vocally supported the establishment of an autocephalous North American Orthodox Church from early in my catechumenate; it is a position I vigorously continue to hold. Reflect on the possible effect(s) your overgeneralization may have on others who may read your comment. (Mea culpa! I know that this is the pot calling the kettle black.)
Here here! The OCA has mimed the Russian church in it's abuses of the confessional which are rampant in the Russian church, that has at least been my experience. The clergy is so often in too many cases not trustworthy and fetishize the confessional to support the heirardhy of the church and not as a means of repentance. If it did there truly would be a healing in the Church.
I doubt that had it not been for the efforts of Matushka Julianna and our Father Alexander to give life to an Orthodox Church in America that I would have found the Peal of Great Price.
Striving to reinvigorate the ancient Faith by trying to free Her from the traditions that are neither Holy nor Apostolic, Matushka and Father devoted themselves to a work of love. Their family, continues in that wonderful tradition, and we are blessed by the service of Fr. Thomas, Fr. John, and other family member to the Church.
I believe that that small voice of the Lord that Matushka talks about, is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and filling all things.
If we as individuals in the Body of Christ take seriously the admonition of the Church Fathers to acquire the Holy Spirit, we will learn to love the Truth, and seek to know the truth, even when it reflects on our own failures.
This is what leads us to repentance, which is a changing of our hearts and minds. As St. Isaac of Syria reminds us: "This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits."
To the degree that those in Holy Orders, and those in the laity, take this Admonition of St. Isaac to heart; the outcome of our All American Council will be determined.
This is a marvelous "Open Letter" that reminds us of who we are, who Christ is in our lives and reminds us to listen to that "still, small voice" that is so often neglected or ignored when dealing in Christ's Holy Church. It is, however, also a letter that ignores the condition of Christ's Holy Church within the "real world" - fallen and sinful as this world is. It reminds me of a time, years gone by, when I heard Archbishop John of San Francisco speaking on the need for a new roof on the church. His comment to the discussion as to how to raise the necessary funds was: "Let's pray about it, and God will take care of it." While this is a very pious and holy response, it also didn't raise the necessary funds. While I love to hear, and be reminded of Godly realities, and I also love to hear real-world solutions, remembering that we do not, as of yet, live in the Kingdom of God, we still spend our years, our efforts and our ministries in this world, dealing with the sinful, the fallen, the hopeless, the unbelievers and those in need of our love and faith. So thank you for this letter to remind us of our need to listen to God. May we then listen and act upon that relationship with God, for truly "faith without works is dead".
Thank you, Matushka Julianna, for your thoughtful letter/reflection. Listening to the small voice of the Lord is what I try to do daily, what we all need to do.
Matushka, I couldn't agree more with your final paragraph: "So in the midst of fire and wind and anger and destruction, let us listen carefully to that still small voice of the Lord. Let us listen with an open humble heart and by so doing we can have a peaceful, a glorious and a truly Christ centered assembly."
My husband, Fr. Mark, is of the SVS Class of '82. He was blessed to have Frs. Schmemann and Meyendorff as professors, and I was blessed to know them and be in the seminary community at that time.
I was in a parish where the conduct of the clergy was totally off the wall. Known sexual misconduct was supported by the clergy the Bishop approached by some ignored the situation. To this day those involved enjoy nothing but a shameless promotion within the hierarchy of the church.
This situation and similar ones mock Matushka's words and no amount of passive good will can eradicate this type of stain on the church.
(Editor's note: If you are aware of sexual misconduct, past or present, you have an responsibility and obligation to report it to to the SMPAC committee, even if you think your bishop (former or current) has/ will turn a blind eye. Especially then. These kind of problems do not go away by ignoring them. They only fester and get worse.)